Sunday Gospel Reflection July 14
The following is an excerpt from Cora Evans’ private revelations found in her book, The Refugee from Heaven, selected as a reflection for the Sunday Gospel passage Luke 10:25-37.
The guards kicked and slapped Jesus in a most atrocious manner as they took Him to the subterranean cell. Again, in order to test His gift of prophecy, which seemed to interest them more than anything else, they asked, “Whom do You say struck You?”
Jesus did not answer.
Then they threw Him into a dark cell-room, where there were twenty other prisoners. As the door closed, they jeered, “This Man thinks He is God. See what you can do to break His will before the Sanhedrin meets and brings Him to justice for such blasphemy!”
Without raising an arm in defense, Jesus fell at last exhausted over the limp body of an elderly man who lay moaning in his death’s struggle of old age in a dank corner. Steadying Himself, the Master knelt tenderly beside him. Taking him into His arms and stroking his face tenderly, He whispered, “Have courage now – remember life ends for all. Do you know God loves you? I know you have waited with countless others for His coming. Because you have done this, you are a believer in God and should have nothing to fear.”
The old man nodded and answered, “Yes, I have waited for the coming of the Messiah.” Then feebly he asked, “How did You know? I have never talked with You before.”
Jesus said, “You will soon understand, and this I promise you – you will recognize the Messiah’s presence here on earth before you die.”
Another old prisoner shouted, “If You are the Messiah, heal him instead of offering him such nice promises. We dare You to do such a thing here in the dungeon. Stand back, men, and watch a miracle!”
There was a moment’s silence, and then as nothing happened the prisoners laughed boisterously and pulled Jesus from the old man. But now the steady gaze of the Master quieted them. They began to recall all they had heard about His miracles, and truthfully they were afraid they might actually see one. A few of them even trembled, for the meaning of the word miracle was not new, nor unbelieved by them. Had not another sort of miracle been taking place right there every night for years?
Almost with one accord they looked upward toward a high dungeon window. The dying man whispered to Jesus, “Every night at this hour someone lowers a basket of food and wine to us through that window. I wait all day for a taste of the wine, for it is the only heat I have for this poor, broken body of mine. We do not know who the Good Samaritan is, whether it is man, woman, or angel, for we know that no one is allowed through the guards at the gate entrance.”
One of the other prisoners turned to Jesus. “You tell us who it is,” he said. “If You are the Messiah that knowledge should be known to You.”
A hush fell as yet another prisoner said, “Be still – it is time!”
It was obvious that the prisoners lived for this hour. Surely it was a consolation and a blessed hour. All of them listened, and heard, the quiet shuffling of footsteps outside the window. Slowly and quietly a small basket containing food and a flask of wine was lowered by a rope into the many uplifted hands.
The contents of the basket – roast meats, nuts, dates, and bread – were divided among them, Jesus and the dying old man excepted. As they ate, the Master arose and walked over to where the rope hung limply against the damp wall. Tugging at it gently, He called, “Turan, lower a potion for a sick, dying man.”
Stunned and astonished, the prisoners fell back against the wall and looked at Him. Then for the first time they heard the voice of their benefactor. A woman answered, “I will see what I can do. It is getting late, but I will hurry.”
The prisoners began to ask one another, “Who is this Man to have His commands obeyed like this? We have called and begged for our friend to speak to us but without success. He calls only once and is heard. Who is He?”
One prisoner asked Jesus slowly, “Do You know this woman you called Turan? Who is she?”
“I know her very well,” Jesus answered. “She is indeed a Good Samaritan. I know her most secret thoughts.”
Now the prisoners were afraid – afraid that this mysterious Turan, who surely must be a friend of Jesus, would learn how they had treated Him and as a consequence discontinue her gifts of mercy, which had been their very life and hope.
One man suddenly grew very pale. “Don’t you know who she is?” he gasped. “Haven’t you ever heard that name? She is Annas’ daughter, the wife of Caiphas!”
There was a complete silence.
After a moment, Jesus nodded. “Yes,” He said, “she is the wife of Caiphas. She is also a devout worshiper of God, and because she loves God she has learned how to be merciful.”
Now they were more frightened than ever. They pleaded with Jesus to pardon them and begged Him not to expose their actions to Turan. Jesus assured them He would say nothing. “Do you know why she is merciful to you?” He asked. “She doesn’t know any one of you. Then why do you think she risks her health and time giving to you who have never helped her?”
The prisoners shook their heads.
“She understands mercy and kindness because she has prayed much,” the Master continued. “She knows that each act she performs in life for her fellowmen, regardless of who they are, earns a jewel for her eternal crown. She knows, too, that she will die someday and that she will live again in Heaven with God. Then she will receive the crown of jewels
made possible through her earthly acts of mercy and love. These acts are living prayers, and God calls them gems of compassionate mercy. Compassionate mercy is actual work – the doing of something for the poor and suffering.
“Showing mercy is one path that leads to God’s kingdom of everlasting joy, and Turan has found it. Death will one day strip you of these clay bodies, and then your spirits will gain their freedom as only such freedom was known before the fall of Adam. How do you think you will look in the darkness of spirit without a single jewel that you could have earned while you had the chance? Jewels must be earned – that is the reason of life. God the Father rewards well and most faithfully the least little favor accomplished in life. Why, even in this dark prison you can store up jewels by showing mercy and kindness to one another. Why do you wait longer before you start to build treasures for your eternal joys? Turan has shown you the way.”
Frightened until he trembled, one prisoner asked, “How can God hear us when we are already so wicked and have never thought about mercy and Heaven? He hears only the good people and those who worship in the synagogues. How can we lay up treasures in Heaven when God does not hear us? Remember, we are in prison.”
“God is everywhere,” Jesus answered, “even in your hearts. He is in this dungeon and at the same time He is in all the world. Nothing is impossible with Him – He knows no bounds and is all- powerful. Remember He is Spirit. Why do you try to restrict Him even with a thought? Try living for Him – even here you can gain merit and eternal freedom.
“Did you know that God in His Humanity said, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy?’ Think about those words, for in them lies a tremendous promise and gift. Rebuild your lives around that beautiful foundation of truth, for it is a way of living close to God while you are yet on earth. Never forget how you have enjoyed the gifts Turan has given you. She sustained you in health and gave you moral courage because you lived for that one hour in which she came to you – all because she dared to do good for the love of God. Remember, she did not do these perilous deeds of mercy because she loved you – rather she did them because she knew she was pleasing God. Follow her way, and in little things become coworkers with God, doing good to souls.”